ABC drama co-production with HBO Asia

The ABC has announced a major 10 part drama series with HBO Asia, Serangoon Road.

The ABC has announced a major 10 part drama series co-production with HBO Asia, Serangoon Road.

The ‘fast-paced detective drama’ set during 1960s Singapore stars Joan Chen, Don Hany, Maeve Dermody, Rachael Blake and Michael Dorman.

An ABC release says it tells the story of “Australian-born Sam Callaghan (Don Hany), whose childhood was spent in WWII’s Japanese internment camps and who returned to fight in the Malayan Emergency. He is a man deeply scarred by both these experiences.

“When his neighbour Patricia (Joan Chen) asks him to help keep her recently-murdered husband’s private detective agency afloat, Sam reluctantly agrees.

“So begins a journey that sees Sam enticed into an unpredictable, dangerous world where the Chinese Secret Society gangs fight to control the streets, foreign powers vie for power and covert intelligence, and the city itself is a hotbed of racial and political turmoil.

“His investigations, and his lover (Maeve Dermody), draw him into the privileged world of the European ex-pats with their fading colonial attitudes, opulence and political intrigues.

“The detective agency’s activities also quickly bring Sam and Patricia into conflict with some of Singapore’s most powerful and ruthless factions – factions that are not afraid to kill to keep their secrets.”

The series is created and produced by Paul Barron with directors Peter Andrikidis and Tony Tilse, writers Michaeley O’Brien and Tony Morphett, line producer Richard Clendinnen, DOP Joe Pickering and production designer Herbert Pinter.

Kim Dalton, Director of ABC TV said “This is a very significant collaboration between Australian and Singaporean producers that will create compelling drama from our region. We are very pleased to be working with HBO Asia on its first locally commissioned television drama series. ABC TV’s work with Asian broadcasters, producers and funding agencies now extends across drama, animation and children’s programming.”

Jonathan Spink, Chief Executive Officer, HBO Asia said “We’re very pleased to be in partnership with ABC TV to produce HBO Asia’s very first original series, and the highest quality locally produced drama for our Asian audience. While HBO Asia is still in the business of delivering the biggest and best Hollywood blockbusters and series, this milestone investment marks the beginning of our commitment in producing in top quality, relevant and riveting content.”

Producing the series are Perth’s Great Western Entertainment (Stormworld) and Singapore’s Infinite Studios with investment from ScreenWest, ABC TV and ABC Commercial, HBO Asia and international distributors Content Media Corporation.

Filming is already underway in Singapore.

4 Responses

  1. This is called a chasing the subsidy production. A good deal of the production cost will be borne by the Singapore Media Corporation, a wholly owned government body. HBO Asia’s involvement prebuying the series for its Asian pay outlets is encouraging but unfortunately as Gonzo notes no creative comparison to the drama teams assembled by HBO in America. I wish the ABC luck on this one. It could make The Straits look like The Sopranos.

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